Bodegas La Cigarrera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz, Spain

Although originally “Colóm and Company” owned and made various wines, “La Cigarrera” didn’t have its own vineyards, and instead used the excellent quality grapes selected from cooperatives and local vine growers who were members of the Denominacion de Origen “Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda” and “Jerez Xeres-Sherry”.

The system of making Sherry wines is exclusively lthe same as for Manzanilla, and is known as “Criaderas and Soleras”. This system consists of mixing wines from different harvests, keeping the oak casks that store the wines in rows stacked on top of each other, normally in three rows (it can be more). The barrels in the first row, nearer the floor, are known as Soleras, and the barrels above this are known as criaderas (first, second and so on).

The barrels, whose capacity can be up to approximately 5ll litres, are never filled more than 2/3s, so that there is always a 1/3 empty. The system consists in extracting a 1/3 of the vintage wine for sale, that third is immediately replaced by the 1/3 of the vintage from the barrel above it, and in this way successively (second, third vintages etc), until the Bodega’s last vintage with the grapes of the year. The third that is never extracted is what we call ‘the mother’s third’, and it represents the mix of all the harvests that have passed through the wine cellar over the years.

Manzanilla is a unique wine in that it can only be made in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Its production relies entirely on the local climate and the influence of other important factors such as the “Poniente wind”, the influence of the sea, mists and humidity etc. According to the experts, the wine cellars situated in the “Barrio Bajo”, nearer the coastal waters of the Atlantic, produce better Manzanillas, maybe because of the more intense humidity.

A fundamental pillar of our project is the diffusion of the culture of our wines and the history of our village, and for this reason, we decided some years ago to open the wine cellar to tourism and the public in general. Now tourists can enjoy a pleasant visit to the wine cellar where there are guided tours (in English or Spanish). The guided tours last about 25 minutes and end with a tasting in the eighteenth-century Andalusian patio decorated with antiques utensils.  Tour schedule as follows Monday to Friday 11.00 English- 13:00 Spanish | Saturdays 13.00 Spanish. For tours outside these times, and for group tours of 25 or more people, please contact us on Email: [email protected]

Epic Wine Tasting Adventure © All Rights Reserved | Monika Newbound 2017

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